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Established at some point after the foundation of the Shire in III 1601; survived into the Fourth Age
During the War of the Ring, Shirriff-houses were established across the Shire, including one at Frogmorton in the Eastfarthing; these were later demolished
From Old English scirgerefa ('Shire-reeve' or 'Shire-steward')1


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  • Updated 22 November 2015
  • Updates planned: 1


The Shire's 'police'

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The title given to those who kept order in the Shire, somewhat akin to a 'police force'. Normally few in number, the Shirriffs were greatly increased during the time of the War of the Ring.



An Anglo-Saxon England, a gerefa was a royal representative or official, and so a scirgerefa was the representative of the King within a shire. This word survives into modern English, though more usually spelt 'sheriff', and with a considerably modified meaning. Perhaps the best known historical example is the Sheriff of Nottingham in the stories of Robin Hood: his title made him the administrator of the shire of Nottingham under the King of England.

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